Monday, March 9, 2015

Writings on NATO

Writings on NATO

NATO - Article 2:

"The Parties will contribute toward the further development of peaceful and friendly international relations by strengthening their free institutions, by bringing about a better understanding of the principles upon which these institutions are founded, and by promoting conditions of stability and well-being. They will seek to eliminate conflict in their international economic policies and will encourage economic collaboration between any or all of them."

Article two represents the private sector and was implemented after World War II to protect the borders of a half-globalized capitalist globe that would eventually expand four decades later after the end of the Cold War. This article in the Washington Treaty (NATO) clearly shows a strong correlation between establishing a multi-national military security coalition and the protection of an international capitalist market, now known as globalization, and the western implemented international organizations such as the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank and the World Trade Organization. At the time of NATO initiation, international capitalism was still checked by the Soviet Union and threatened by a vulnerable war-ravished Europe that was socially and economically susceptible to anti-capitalist sentiments and communism. It was obvious that the creation of NATO military contributions would be necessary if all of the U.S. capital that was poured into post-war Europe through the Marshall Plan was to be protected and an international market promoted [1]. At the same time the “Bretton Woods agreements of July 1944, establishing the International Monetary Fund to supervise and maintain global financial relations and the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development, popularly called the World Bank, to offer large-scale capital loans” [2] would begin to regulate international capitalism, and since stability is the key to capital generation and so-called free trade, it was essential for states invested in capitalism to establish a multi-national military coalition to promote and protect the market regions against communism or socialism, after all….the wretched economic conditions left on the European continent after World War I gave birth to socialism and leaders such as Stalin and Hitler.

While the IMF and World Bank were bypassed by the U.S. for implementing the Marshall Plan after World War II, an international security force such as NATO was necessary in the early stages of international capitalism to further link western member states with common capital interests through the IMF, World Bank and World Trade Organization in the spirit of Article two by “strengthening their free institutions, by bringing about a better understanding of the principles upon which these institutions are founded, and by promoting conditions of stability” [3]. It should be noted here that representation within the Bretton Woods institutions is weighted by financial contributions and not democratic vote, and therefore while the government states, comprised of tax payers, shoulder the military expenses of regional and multinational military protection for capital interests through organizations such as NATO, it is the private sector that continuously regenerates capital based on those requirements and then utilize the regenerated capital to lobby and influence representative democracies to further their interests for further regenerating capital accumulation.

International structure evolutions do not occur overnight though, and this is why Article two of the North Atlantic Treaty was so important. This can be clearly seen after the collapse of the Soviet Union, which left the overall mission of NATO in question until the appearance of the phantom menace of borderless terrorism, as many of the post-soviet states were usurped into globalization and brought under the Bretton Woods organizations. The first phase was directly after the collapse of the Soviet Union through IMF loans to former soviet-satellite states as “in May 1992, all 12 of the former Soviet Socialist Republics that had constituted the core of the Soviet Union, and the three Baltic states that had been forcibly annexed in 1940, joined the IMF” [4]. Looking at the World Trade Organization and the expansion of international capitalism after soviet disintegration, “Nine of the 30 countries that acceded through the end of 2012 were formerly part of the Soviet Union, and another ten either had been or remained non-market economies; seven of the 25 countries that were then in the process of accession were similarly former Soviet or Yugoslav republics” [5]. Last but not least, referring back to article two of the treaty, after the collapse of the Soviet Union and the early expansion of international capitalism, many of the same post-Soviet states demonstrated their willing-ness to become full members of NATO while others “such as Georgia, Ukraine, Moldova, Azerbaijan, Uz-bekistan (before 2005) declared themselves NATO’s allies – while some (Georgia, Ukraine) set their medium or long term goals to joining the Alliance in the future”[6]

While the main emphasis when studying NATO has always been on Article five of the treaty, NATO was a system originally implemented to protect capitalist expansion and was pivotal in establishing the transition from a bi-polar international stage to an international free market stage of trade blocs, labor exploitation and natural resource extraction established through Structural Adjustment Policies attached to IMF and World Bank loans under globalization.

[1] Aybet, Gnlnur, and Moore, Rebecca R. 2010. NATO in Search of a Vision. (Washington, DC, USA: Georgetown University Press, 2010): p. 12

[2] Kunz, Diane. 1997. “Marshall Plan Commemorative Section: The Marshall Plan Reconsidered: A Complex of Motives,” Foreign Affairs (June 1997). Accessed on January 8, 2015.

[3] North Atlantic Treaty. 1949. Transcript of the North Atlantic Treaty. North Atlantic Treaty Organization. Accessed January 7, 2015.

[4] International Monetary Fund. “After the Fall: Building Nations out of the Soviet Union” Regional Issues, International Monetary Fund: p. 350.. Accessed on January 8, 2015.

[5] World Trade Orgnaization. “Assessions,” The History and Future of the World Trade Organization (world Trade Organization): P. 121. Accessed on January 8, 2015.

Jaap de Hoop Scheffer:

Jaap de Hoop Scheffer was the eleventh Secretary General of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and served in that billet from 2004 until 2009. During Scheffer’s tenure as Secretary General, the heightened focus on NATO members and non-NATO members alike centered heavily on NATO’s role in Afghanistan and on the possible expansion of NATO. A political instrument of capitalist interests under globalization as his predecessors were, Scheffer utilized a diplomatic leadership style by attempting to persuade NATO members to contribute more resources and personnel to NATO missions and operations, along with the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) occupying Afghanistan. Jaap de Hoop Scheffer “consistently called upon the Allies to provide more military resources to the mission” (Aybet & Moore, 2010, p. 68) and he did so first and foremost through diplomacy through speaking engagements at summits and conferences. His diplomatic leadership style is illustrated in his documented travel schedule which “led him to Israel, Japan, Australia, New Zealand, and South Korea, among other states” (Aybet & Moore, 2010, p. 69) that were not members of NATO, but were labeled as economic and political allies to a broad portion of NATO and European Union members. His call to the international community, NATO and non-NATO members alike, for contributions to the so-called War on Terrorism was relatively constant during his tenure as Secretary General. Scheffer’s diplomatic leadership efforts “resulted in new bilateral contacts between NATO and individual members of the Gulf Cooperation Council, which includes Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates” (Aybet & Moore, 2010, p. 69) and these extroverted efforts can be analyzed in his 2006 speech in Germany at the 42nd Munich Conference on Security Policy. At the 2006 Munich conference, Scheffer used diplomacy to push for further cooperation with the European Union and international allies to the European Union, and argued that NATO was not a global police unit, and heavily promoted “building closer links with other likeminded nations beyond Europe – nations such as Australia, New Zealand, South Korea or Japan” (Scheffer, 2006). Scheffer served during a post-9/11 time period when the overall mission of NATO was unclear, and his diplomatic efforts for NATO expansion during this period were continuous until a heart attack in 2009.

Aybet, Gnlnur, and Moore, Rebecca R., eds. NATO in Search of a Vision. Washington, DC, USA: Georgetown University Press, 2010. ProQuest ebrary. Web. 15 January 2015.

Scheffer, Jaap De Hoop. 2006. Speech by NATO Secretary General Jaap de Hoop Scheffer at the 42nd Munich Conference on Security Policy, February 4, 2006. Accessed on January 14, 2015.

Comprehensive Approach:

The NATO approach to comprehensive and effective crisis management centers on “all elements of national and international power— political, diplomatic, economic, financial, informational, social, and commercial, as well as military” (Aybet & Moore, 2010, p. 76), especially as NATO finds itself positioned against a phantom enemy of terrorism in a Post-Afghanistan era of operations. Interestingly enough, the state of Denmark “took the initiative in late 2004 to put the concept of the Comprehensive Approach” (Aybet & Moore, 2010, p. 78) and continued to push the agenda through 2006 when the United States “joined the initiative through an eight nation letter in September 2006, further clarifying the ideas behind what had by then become known as the Comprehensive Approach” (Aybet & Moore, 2010, p. 79). The Comprehensive Approach ideology focuses on making “closer cooperation among civilian and military responses an integral part of Alliance operations” (Aybet & Moore, 2010, p. 75). The ideology of the approach basically echoes the speeches of Jaap de Hoop Scheffer and other post-Cold War Secretary Generals in their cries for greater international cooperation and contribution, but in reality the Comprehensive Approach appears quite vague and “too narrowly defined” (Aybet & Moore, 2010, p. 76) in writing with main complications coming on both international and domestic levels. While the “unresolved division of labor and the method of cooperation between NATO and the European Union are perhaps the most salient obstacles” (Aybet & Moore, 2010, p. 77), the European Union is basically a representative democracy itself as stated in the Treaty of Nice, with state actors voting based on domestic policies, foreign and domestic interest groups, and parliamentary votes. It is also impossible to ignore the unpredictable ramifications of representative democracy at the state level, especially as international organizations such as the EU and NATO have little choice but to respect the political autonomy of the member states. While NATO is committed “to the principle of respect for the mandates, autonomy, and decisions of each actor” (Aybet & Moore, 2010, p. 81), the majority of NATO members are also representative democracies that require parliamentary-style votes, sometimes in multiple chambers where interest group wield large amounts of economic and political influence, in order to pass funding, contribute troops or make political decisions that impact both the EU and NATO, and the majority of these representative democracies are often bogged down by domestic partisan politics.

The biggest complication to NATO’s comprehensive approach ideology is that it rests on the instability and inconsistency caused by multi-tier representative democracies, international level representative democracies built on the decisions of representative democracies at the state levels. There are too many variables for a comprehensive approach to be consistent.

Gnlnur Aybet and Rebecca Moore, eds. NATO in Search of a Vision. Washington, DC, USA: Georgetown University Press, 2010: 75-98.

NATO. Active Engagement, Modern Defence: Strategic Concept for the Defence and Security of the Members of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation adopted by Heads of State and Government in Lisbon. NATO website, last updated May 23, 2012. Accessed on January 20, 2015.

NATO and Russia:

The United States is now viewed as a superpower on the decline while Russia is a state restrengthening itself as a energy exporting state and while the two states have been long term rivals, both have political and economic links under globalization to NATO, the European Unions and the European member-states belonging to both of those international organizations (Aybet & Moore, 2010, p. 99). The two former Cold War rivals have cooperated on international issues in which they have shared political interests while also politically clashing over issues, but at the same time have utilized restraint due to the political and economic agreements both states have within NATO and the European Union. Since capitalist globalization is literally a political spider web spanning across the international stage and the majority of international organizations, government and private sector non-government organizations alike, are all intertwined through agreements and trade blocs, international treaty organizations such as NATO keep the United States and Russia from walking away from international issues or escalating into conflict over international issues which impact both states, whether their state interests are similar or conflicting. NATO shares member-states with the European Union, who as a single organization and as individual member-states have agreements and political-economic ties with both Russia and the United States. This political ‘8 degrees of separation’ was heavily strained by Russia’s recent gain in the Ukraine, but this is not the first time that U.S.-Russian relations have been heavily strained only to have the bonds of NATO, courtesy of the EU and the WTO, hold them in check and keep the two rivals intertwined. The crisis in Kosovo in 1999 and the crisis in Georgia in 2008 saw strained relations between the United States and Russia, and Russia and NATO, but Russia did completely isolate itself from NATO after those crises and therefore Russia did not isolate itself from the United States (Aybet & Moore, 2010, p.123). Instead, Russia cooperated with NATO and the United States after September 11, 2001 on issues such as Afghanistan and preventing Iran to acquire nuclear weapons, and “In the summer of 2007 President Putin made a series of proposals for the creation of joint United States– Russia missile defense facilities in Azerbaijan and in southern Russia” (Aybet & Moore, 2010, p. 115). Interestingly enough, the question might be asked if the U.S.-Russian NATO connection would even exist today if it wasn’t for the events of September 11th (Aybet & Moore, 2010, p.107). Even though Russia has never been a NATO member, the political connections it holds with NATO allow Russia and the United States to be “partners who may not have any reason to love each other, but have to work together” (Aybet & Moore, 2010, p. 106).

Gnlnur Aybet and Rebecca Moore, eds. NATO in Search of a Vision. Washington, DC, USA: Georgetown University Press, 2010: 99-121.

Possible U.S. Retrenchment:
U.S. retrenchment, as clearly shown by NATO’s recent leading role in Libya, is a stark reality due to “messy wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, a budget deficit exceeding US$500 billion” (Hallams & Scheer, 2012, p. 318) and the shift in the international power structure back toward a multipolar composition. A U.S. reduction in financially and operationally carrying NATO, whether voluntary or from a decline in superpower status, would force NATO and the European Union to shoulder the European Burden left vacant by previous U.S. shoulder carrying. In the absence of U.S. economic and military power, the European Union, which is often viewed as the economic might of Europe, and NATO, viewed as a collective military defense in the region, would be forced to work more fluently (Flockhart, 2011, p. 263) as partner organizations sharing the same goals, or even as a merged single organization, if they were to succeed in economic expansion and European security. While NATO’s original framework was aimed at Soviet containment during the Cold War and post-Cold War periods, and the European Union’s focus remained on economic expansion, both organizations have continued to expand with the addition of new Eastern European member states and both have adopted the strategy of economic and institutional expansion and protection (Flockhart, 2011, p. 275).

The two organizations would also be required to attempt to work better together in order to define roles, planning, funding, each organization’s strongest capabilities, and priorities in a scenario of U.S. retrenchment. The strategy planning between both organizations would have to be magnified due to previous NATO and European Union strategies being pushed “from the United States” (Flockhart, 2011, p. 266). If it were possible, it would almost seem more beneficial for NATO to be merged into the European Union after U.S. retrenchment. The European Union has already displayed military defense capabilities over a wide geographical spread with notable engagements in Yugoslavia, Bosnia-Herzegovina and the Democratic Republic of Congo (Flockhart, 2011, p. 269) while NATO performed questionably and lost European confidence in Kosovo, Iraq and Afghanistan (Flockhart, 2011, p. 274). If the two entities did not merge into a single entity in order to counter the weakening impact of U.S. entrenchment, the two organizations would certainly have to act as a joint collective in the face of crisis because events in Bosnia, and Kosovo clearly illustrated that there was a massive gap between European and American operational capabilities as the “US dominated all aspects of the campaign, highlighting the deficiency of most European armed forces in modern war-fighting (Hallams & Scheer, 2012, p. 316). In the absence of the U.S. shouldering the majority of economic and military burden, NATO and the EU would have no other option except to initiate a “more pragmatic burden sharing arrangement centered upon active US support for a ‘post-American’ alliance, which puts increasing emphasis on greater European defense cooperation, the development of alliance-wide assets and niche capabilities, and an enhanced role for partner states. (Hallams & Scheer, 2012, p. 314). In other words, they should be using that American capital now to prepare NATO and the EU for when the U.S. is no longer able to shoulder the burden.

Flockhart, Trine. 2011. “‘Me Tarzan – You Jane’: The EU and NATO and the Reversal of Roles” Perspectives on European Politics & Society. Sep2011, Vol. 12 Issue 3, p263-282.

Hallams, Ellen and Scheer, Benjamin. 2012. “Towards a 'post-American' alliance? NATO burden-sharing after Libya” International Affairs. Mar2012, Vol. 88 Issue 2, p313-327.

NATO Expansion:
Since the end of the Cold War, NATO has continued the incorporation of “the countries of the former Soviet empire in Central Europe and the Baltics and contemplates admitting other countries along the Russian periphery” (Aybet & Moore, 2010, p. 157). As a result, NATO expansion has presented the opportunity for NATO to reinvent itself as an international organization on a political and military scale, and to redefine its role on the international stage (Aybet & Moore, 2010, p. 153). The largest challenge that NATO expansion presents is the continued “direct confrontation with Russia” (Aybet & Moore, 2010, p. 154) as previously witnessed in the Russian military intervention in Georgia during 2008, the 2009 natural ‘gas war’ between Russia and the Ukraine, and the more recent Russian annexation of the Crimea in 2014.

1) Russia’s control of “natural gas, natural gas pipelines, and electricity needed by Georgia had been the most important instrument at its disposal to bring pressure against Georgia”( Aybet & Moore, 2010, p. 165) and any possible courtship by NATO for Georgian membership. Russia has made no secret of its opposition to Georgia joining NATO, and if Georgia were to join NATO, NATO would be then responsible for defending any Russian invasion reminiscent of 2008 (Croft, 2014).

2) During the Russian-Ukraine gas wars of 2009, Russia even suggested that the U.S. “was behind Ukraine’s policy, presumably as a means of undermining Russia’s reputation as an economic partner with Western Europe and strengthening its argument that Europe should diversify its energy suppliers” (Aybet & Moore, 2010, p. 158).

3) Russia has already stated that the annexation of Crimea in March 2014 was in response to the Western military alliance's expansion into Eastern Europe (Croft, 2014).
Despite how western media portrayed the events in the Crimea, “a substantial portion of the Ukrainian population opposed NATO membership” (Aybet & Moore, 2010, p. 166) What happens when NATO expansion goes too far and Russia, whether with legitimate reasoning or overzealous paranoia, oversteps western tolerance? It may have been the case that when “NATO invited the Czech Republic, Hungary, and Poland to join the Alliance, Russia reluctantly accepted the decision without any of the retaliatory responses that had been threatened” (Aybet & Moore, 2010, p. 161), but how long will it be before a strengthened Russia makes a hardline stand of NATO eastward expansion? This is a seriously challenge for NATO. Putin and the Soft Authoritarian government controlled by the United Russia political party holds the reassertion of central governmental control and the reemergence of the Russian state as top priorities instead of kneeling to private sector capital globalization and the free market (Aybet & Moore, 2010, p. 155). At the same time, Russia has already “abandoned all pretense of democratization and has reestablished many of the institutional arrangements of a traditional authoritarian political system”. (Aybet & Moore, 2010, p. 157) after the Yeltsin years created mass ripples of capital flight which transitioned from the Soviet state to the private sector. With renewed economic health, Russian foreign policy already views pro-democracy movements, and NATO membership invitations to post-Soviet satellite states, such as the ones that occurred in Georgia and the Ukraine, as a destabilization of Russian influence in the region (Aybet & Moore, 2010, p. 157).
An additional challenge for NATO is the impact that new member states could have on decision making policies of NATO and the EU concerning Russia. NATO has weighted voting procedures, based on contributions, while unanimity is required within the EU. U.S. capital influence may pull new member states “closer to the United States and further from the position of other European members of NATO— and the European Union” (Aybet & Moore, 2010, p. 168) and therefore further corrode the cohesion of the transatlantic cooperation which has troubled NATO for decades.
Adrian Croft. 2014. “NATO Will Not Offer Georgia Membership Step, Avoiding Russia Clash”, Reuters News Agency, June 25, 2014. Accessed on February 12, 2015.
Gnlnur Aybet and Rebecca Moore, eds. NATO in Search of a Vision. Washington, DC, USA: Georgetown University Press, 2010: 99-121.

Changing Interests, Changing Demographics:

The United States continues to protect Europe for capitalist interests, viewing defense as the best way to deal with the majority of threats to those interests (Aybet & Moore, 2010, p. 208). We already know that global capitalism was born through the Marshall plan after World War II, with the institutionalization of the IMF, the World Bank, and the WTO, but that protection comes with heavy fiscal costs and is likely not permanent under the shifting international stage and changing state demographics. There are several factors that could impact a possible U.S. decline in protecting Europe : U.S.-European population trends, differences in immigration trends, and post-September 11th demographics.
The first example that needs t be analyzed are the different trends between the U.S. and Europe concerning population and GWP. The U.S. protection of Europe would could diminish in priority due to the fact that over the next forty years the North American population is projected to increase towards 438 million people with a 26 percent possession of GWP, while a projected decline in Europe shows that the 25 member states of the EU (as of 1994) will decline in population numbers and decrease to a position only holding only 12 percent of the GWP (Aybet & Moore, 2010, p. 214). In addition, a growing U.S. population is predicted to enhance the overall U.S. economic profile over the next 40 years while Europe’s aging population will diminish a collective European capital worth (Aybet & Moore, 2010, p. 213). Considering this, it is only logical to assume that despite the trans-Atlantic gap of NATO cost sharing that the U.S. would be required to continue to shoulder the military capacity and economic support for the majority of future NATO operation.
Immigration will also play a key factor in possibly diminishing U.S. priorities for protecting Europe through NATO. Both Europe and the United States have long been major recipients of immigration waves. Europe has experienced a spike in Muslim immigration into Europe since before September 11, 2001 while the U.S has continued to see vast increases in immigration from South America and the Caribbean. The result is that while the U.S. currently needs a secure Europe for capital interests, the increasing demographics caused by South American and Caribbean immigration into the U.S.may eventually cause the U.S. government to begin focusing on the American hemisphere in order to promote and protect American interests (Aybet & Moore, 2010, p. 212-213).
The prospect of an international stage dominated by globalization, where those with the greatest capital would eventually usurp the capital of smaller entities, has always seems like the eventual end state in my view, but I am not so certain on this outcome now. Especially considering the increasing Muslim population in Europe, as sharp religious polarizations can cause political and economic instability.
Gnlnur Aybet and Rebecca Moore, eds. NATO in Search of a Vision. Washington, DC, USA: Georgetown University Press, 2010

Operation Unified Protector:

                Following United Nations Security Council Resolutions 1970 and 1973, both in response to the Ghaddafi regime hardline crackdown on a inorganic foreign-influenced uprising against the state following the example of Egypt’s successful Arab Spring; NATO took the lead on all military operations in Libya under the title of Operation Unified Protector .  The operation lasted a total of 214 days with the military missions focused in three primary areas: an arms embargo, a no-fly zone, and the so-called protection of Libyan civilians .  The rapid removal of the Ghaddafi regime, despite not being the proclaimed direct purpose of the operation, was considered a successful public relation boost for NATO on the international stage, a reputation redeemer which was “badly needed after its decade-long engagement in Afghanistan” .  While the short-term objective may have been achieved in Libya, the same post-mission mistake now being observed from Iraq and Afghanistan was committed in Libya as NATO did not take “any role in the country’s post-conflict stabilization efforts”  which has left both Iraq and Afghanistan under conditions of instability and vulnerable for anti-capitalist resistance factions such as ISIS.  Despite the misleading humanitarian name attached to the Libyan operation, a name promoted to accumulate domestic support within and under NATO member-state governments and an attempt to falsely portray the operation as a purely humanitarian operation instead of simple regime removal by the capitalist west, Operation Unified Protection showed improved functional properties of NATO operations outside of the traditional European theater while also displaying continued problematic weaknesses for the overall organization.

                The no-fly zone implemented by NATO and the multinational air assault was considered a success by proponents of NATO as the alliance “planned and executed 218 air tasking orders (ATOs), flew over 26,500 sorties including 9,700 ground attack sorties, destroyed over 5,900 military targets, and de-conflicted over 6,700 humanitarian aid flights”  without casualties on the NATO side.   In addition, the mission “created the first-ever NATO-Arab combat partnership”  with the participation of Jordan, Qatar, and the United Arab Emirates.  At the same time, NATO air assaults during Operation Unified Protection certainly did not proceed without major flaws.  As the conflict on the ground intensified, NATO often struggled with identifying civilians and defectors from the Libyan military, as defectors often took ground vehicles with them and “several air strikes were reported in which rebel convoys were mistakenly hit by NATO” .  It should also be noted that the conflict in Libya was not solely won by NATO from the air, but was ultimately decided on the ground by rebel forces supported by heavy and unrelenting NATO air strikes.

While United Nations Security Council Resolution 1973 stated that there would be no foreign occupation forces on the ground, the vague terminology of that resolution purposely left wiggle room for the legality of funding and supporting Libyan rebel forces that opposed the Ghaddafi regime , and NATO promptly provided the air strikes against the Libyan regime of Ghaddafi to ensure opposition victory and eventual state regime removal.  NATO’s air assaults clearly show the diversion from United Nations Security Council Resolution 1973 pertaining to protection of civilians as the primary goal and the transition to calculated air support against Ghaddafi in support of rebel forces challenging the then-current state regime engaged in a civil war that would have never have been possible without NATO intervention.  While the mission plan for Operation Unified Protection stated the objective of protection of civilians, the reality of the mission was political in nature as “Libyan rebels could not have toppled the Gadhafi regime — or even survived — without NATO’s support, particularly the precision air strikes that steadily degraded”  the military and state infrastructures of Ghaddafi. 

One the largest NATO shortcomings apparent within Operation Unified Protection was the repeated theme of U.S. economic and military dominance within the alliance as “U.S. aircraft were relied on heavily for intelligence gathering, surveillance, air-to-air refueling, electronic jamming and the suppression of enemy air defenses” .  Even though Operation Unified Protector was the first NATO mission that was not lead and almost completely shouldered by the United States, iw was no long before European NATO members began to run short of precision guided arms and military consumables which forced NATO to once again turn to the United States with begging ‘hat in hand’ to replenish stocks and allow the United States to dictate objectives from behind the scenes .

While Operation Unified Protection was deemed a success by western media outlets, the truth concerning the matter is that without the United States providing the bulk of capital and military support for operations, NATO is not an effective or powerful military alliance in Eastern Europe or outside of Europe.  The United States was in no economic position to shoulder the costs of another long term nation-building project after the disasters of Iraq and Afghanistan, and therefore NATO was tasked with the opportunity of regime removal in Libya which would also boost the reputation of NATO on the international stage.  The hard truth after Operation Unified Protection is that NATO is still an organization with many question marks surrounding it.  The NATO organization is still too reliant on the United States, which uses the NATO Alliance as a military tool to remove uncooperative regimes and further private sector interests in third world states.  If anything, Operation Unified Protection showed the United States that it could successfully control NATO from the background in order to apply military pressure or actions in certain regional situations without directly soiling the hands of current U.S. administrations, and without binding the U.S. into decade long nation-building projects that accumulate massive state debt and create irritation and anger among United States voters.
Florence Gaub.  2013.  “The North Atlantic Treaty Organization and Libya: Reviewing Operation Unified Protector”  Strategic Studies Institute, June 2013.  Accessed on February 13, 2015.
Ian Brzezinski.  2011.  “Lesson from Libya: NATO Alliance Remains Relevant”, National Defense, November, 2011.  Accessed on February 13, 2015.

NATO.  2014.  Unified Protector.  NATO website.  Accesed on February 13, 2015.

Todd Phinney.  2014.  “JFQ 73: Reflections on Operation Unified Protector”, National Defense University Press, April 1, 2014.  Accessed on February 13, 2015.

NATO longevity:
NATO did not vanish after the end of the Cold War because it could still offer a purpose toward benefitting the expansion and regulation of capitalist globalization, and the organization of NATO, along with its leading member states, found itself expanding as it served to provide stability to various regions with promising capitalist market interests in correlation to the expansion of global capitalism.  Less than one hundred years ago, NATO’s “American founding fathers hotly contested whether a Western Europe falling under the strategic shadow of the Soviet Union needed a short-term economic shot in the arm or a long-term military pact” (Aybet & Moore, 2010, p. 12).  In the end, Europe, the battle front where capitalism and communism once stood face to face, got both the Marshall Plan and NATO.  Prior to the end of the Cold War, NATO was primarily a defensive military deterrence force to protect the infant global market in the west from the possible encroachment of socialism or communism (Aybet & Moore, 2010, p. 17).  These forms of government are no friendly to capitalism than today phantom menace of Islamic extremism.  Once the Soviet Union collapsed, global capitalism led by the IMF, the World Trade Organization and the World Bank began to pull post-Soviet states into capitalist globalization as the post-WWII international free market began to expand to the east.  NATO found itself in a rapidly changing role, being required to become offensive in operations instead of mainly deterrent, as the capital system that funded it began to go on the offensive and expand.  In politically correct terms, the terminology of ‘crisis intervention’ began to be utilized by post-Cold War NATO in cases such as “Yugoslavia in 1991– 92, when NATO had to decide whether to move ‘‘out of area or out of business’’ (as U.S. senator Richard Lugar famously put it) and use its forces not to defend its members’ territories but to impose peace on their peripheries.” (Aybet & Moore, 2010, p. 15).  Even if the majority of crisis requirements under globalization were not truly centered around around civil conflict in which western capitalist states often fund the government fraction that would work best with capitalist market exploitation, NATO would not have survived after the end of the Cold War “on the basis of managing a secure peace rather than of dealing with crises and intractable conflicts” (p. 16).  Military crisis intervention was created and NATO involvement in places such as the Balkans allowed NATO to demonstrate that it “could adapt to its major new post– Cold War role: organizing peace support operations beyond its members’ territories and learning to specialize not only in the techniques of conflict termination (naval embargoes, no-fly zones, and air campaigns) but also of peace implementation (ground forces turning ‘‘mission creep’’ into a full spectrum of tasks beyond more patrolling— from disarming militias to the reconstruction of roads and railways” (Aybet & Moore, 2010, p. 17).  After 9-11 and the beginning of the so-called war on terrorism, NATO even moved into the nation building business, which historically follows regime removal.  In this particular case for NATO, it was Afghanistan.  As NATO grew in size under the expansion of capitalist globalization, the expansion and strengthening of NATO also came in formats such as the Strategic Concept and the Comprehensive Approach, which had been promoted by countless NATO secretary Generals since the Cold War.  The approaches to operation enlarged the NATO structure on every level.
Gnlnur Aybet and Rebecca Moore, eds. NATO in Search of a Vision. Washington, DC, USA: Georgetown University Press, 2010.
NATO as a political entity:
There is no question that NATO, based on its multi-state structure and overall multi-level operations which entwine through multiple other international coalitions, is a highly political organization.  Organized as an international security force under capitalist globalization, it is important to consider that NATO, as an organization, is made up of member states and that each individual member state has its own government interests, parliamentary policy structures that determine state policy, domestic and international interests, and many of those states are also members of other international organizations and international trade blocs that occasionally hold conflicting interests, or hold different priority levels, compared to NATO objectives.  The NATO organization has grown in size and has emerged as a major globalized organization, and with that expansive growth it has also evolved into a major political entity (Aybet & Moore, 2010, p. 11).  NATO has found itself shifting organizational focus from internal political requirements toward external political requirements which cross geographic boundaries when dealing with non-member actors or allies (Aybet & Moore, 2010, p. 29).  NATO has been required to work within political parameters when welcoming new member states, each holding domestic interests and concerns, and NATO politically pleaded for years while convincing France to return to the organization after almost fifty years (Aybet & Moore, 2010, p. 11).  In addition, NATO continuously balances organizational requirements between Article 4’s political consultations and Article 5’s collective defense portions of the original mandate (Aybet & Moore, 2010, p. 11).  In order to meet the challenges presented by a shrinking international stage and growing threats to international capitalism, NATO leadership is constantly required to expand political horizons and diplomacy in order to convince member states, especially American and European members, to invest more in the North Atlantic Council and work bilaterally alongside NATO’s bureaucratic organizations, as well as having to provide a political balance among various NATO members where regional priorities and security issues are often quite different in scope (Aybet & Moore, 2010, p. 20).  This is politically difficult for NATO leaders as member states have proven historically to place immediate domestic issues and priorities before overall NATO objectives and the objectives and priorities of NATO allies (Aybet & Moore, 2010, p. 22).  Under modern globalization and international economic integration, NATO has also been required to seek political partners outside of NATO parameters, stretching from Australia to Japan and through international organizations such as the European Union, the United Nations, the World Bank and the IMF (Aybet & Moore, 2010, p. 21).  This is politically difficult because organizations such as the United Nations, the European Union and the World Bank are not always on the same page with NATO as they happened to be in Afghanistan, and NATO often finds itself providing more toward these international organizations than it receives in support from those organizations (Aybet & Moore, 2010, p. 24).  The most politically difficult relationship NATO faces is with the European Union, as the two multi-nation organizations share twenty-one member states with overlapping values, strategies and engagements (Aybet & Moore, 2010, p. 29).
NATO’s defined role during the Cold War was regional and minimally political on an international level, but that began to change after the conclusion of the Cold War.  Even after the Cold War, NATO’s objectives were relatively clear: expand capitalist western democratic values eastward and collective security (Aybet & Moore, 2010, p. 43).  Developing a post-9/11 Comprehensive Approach and Strategic Concept has proven more difficult in eliciting higher levels of commitment and support from member states, non-member states, government organizations and non-government organizations while respecting the mandates and autonomy of each entity (Aybet & Moore, 2010, p. 81).  The vast bureaucratic processes required to establish a functional Comprehensive Approach as originally laid forward by Denmark does not alleviate the political characteristics within NATO’s growing number of committees, not to mention the political requirements of NATO across the international stage (Aybet & Moore, 2010, p. 81).  This is the prime reason for the similar political speeches of NATO Secretary Generals such as Manfred Worner, Willy Claes, Javier Solana, George Robertson, and Jaap de Hoop Scheffer in their consistent calls for integrated contributions and support from the international community, NATO members and non-NATO members alike.  
Gnlnur Aybet and Rebecca Moore, eds. NATO in Search of a Vision. Washington, DC, USA: Georgetown University Press, 2010.
NATO abilities to Protect Member and Partner States:
                The continued expansion and globalization of NATO will eventually lead to limitations, and possibly increase the inability, for the true organizational protection of NATO member-states and partner-states.  The main reason for such a possible paralysis is capitalist globalization itself.  There are so many international organizations, international trade blocs and multi-national treaties and partnerships in place that most states on the international stage are tied into more than one multi-state body.  A prime example of this political phenomenon is NATO member states that are also members of the European Union (EU), the United Nations (UN), the World Trade Organization (WTO), the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF).  When states have overlapping international and regional commitments, shifting economic and political interests and changing priorities based on those international and regional commitments and partnerships, it must be considered that those states may eventually hesitate to fully commit and contribute to future NATO offensive or defensive operations, most notably in a case where a member state must be protected.  The EU has held long-established agreements with Russia, who was outraged at the possibility of Ukrainian and Georgian NATO memberships under NATO expansion, which placed states with membership within both the EU and NATO in unpleasant political positions.  This phenomenon will only become worse with further expansion. 
NATO, being a direct reflection of global capitalist expansion, has already expanded itself outside of European borders as a global organization as it has established partnerships with the Russian Council, the Ukraine Commission, Partnership for Peace, the Euro-Atlantic Council, the Georgian Commission, the Mediterranean Dialogue, and the Istanbul Cooperation Initiative (Aybet & Moore, 2010, p. 219).  In the rganization’s expansion outside of the European theater, NATO has also established multiple partnerships with non-NATO states such as Japan, Australia, and South Korea (Aybet & Moore, 2010, p. 220).  Each of these international assemblies consists of multiple states with multiple international commitments to multiple international alliances or trade blocs, and therefore these overcommitted states cannot be relied upon to defend NATO members and the European theater from an unforeseen future so-called threat if the NATO position happens to infringe against the economic and political interests of a member-states, or a partner-states, co-existing commitment to a non-NATO regional trade bloc or a regional or international treaty, alliance or trade bloc.  Capital interests will determine whether NATO is required to protect member-states and partner-states in the future, and capital interests will determine whether member-states and partner-states contribute to NATO in the future.  Since capital interests are difficult to project, there is no long-term certainty that NATO will be relevant for the long-term future or whether it will possess the economic and political support to protect anyone, especially if, and when, the United States deters from shouldering the bulk of economic and military requirements for NATO operations.  The capitalist interests of the United States could easily move elsewhere in the next century, as Europe is projected to see a sharp decline in gross world product (GWP) by mid-century, which would make it less valuable to U.S. interests.
As long as the international capital remains stacked and the existing economic-military-political caste remains unshakable on the international stage, NATO should be able to protect member-states and partner-states without disruption, but eventually, when all the evils are vanquished, capital will more than likely cause chaos within a multipolar international stage under capitalist globalization and render NATO paralyzed or defunct.  NATO missions in Libya, Afghanistan, and Iraq that saw NATO operations outside of the European theater were simply U.S.-pushed regime removals of non-conformist regimes that refused to bend the knee to capitalist globalization.
Gnlnur Aybet and Rebecca Moore, eds. NATO in Search of a Vision. Washington, DC, USA: Georgetown University Press, 2010

The Concept of a Modern Military Alliance:
                The idea of an effective military alliance under 21st century capitalist globalism is indeed an anachronism, and the original concept of NATO is an long-expired concept.  The original alliance created through the Washington Treaty was established to protect the large capitalist gains after World War I and World War II, as well as the U.S. capital invested into Europe through the Marshall Plan from the opposite ideologies of Communism and Socialism.  Capitalist states, such as the U.S. and Britain, had already learned the dangers of not protecting Europe, the heart of capitalist globalization, against these anti-capitalist political ideologies after World War I left dismal economic conditions that resulted in anti-capitalist dictatorships emerging in Germany and Italy, and therefore NATO was formed to prevent Communist encroachment from the east after World War II during the beginning phase of capitalist globalization.
After the end of the Cold War, there were no longer any tangible enemies in state format to balance the international stage and hold the encroaching capitalist globalization system from further expansion.  Technically, NATO no longer served a purpose after the collapse of the Soviet Union because capitalist globalization was free to expand without any formable military challengers because NATO no longer had a threat to defend against.  The western capitalist states that support capitalist globalization and use NATO to protect, inject and achieve the acquisition of global economic interests, especially concerning the United States, have always generated domestic political support for imperialist military actions abroad by over-sensationalizing international threats to capitalism, in which they describe as “freedom and democracy”.  During the Cold War, NATO was in defensive posture because the Soviet Union offered a balance of power on the international stage and stood in opposition of global capitalism.  After the collapse and fleecing of the Soviet Union at the end of the Cold War, NATO went on the offensive as a result of the concurrent expansion and offense of capitalist globalization.  Despite the NATO shift from defense to offense, the main difference between Cold War NATO and modern NATO can found in the form of the so-called threat to NATO-members and capitalist globalization, and how prior to the end of the Cold War these threats were in the form of states, but are today stateless phantom threats that are not contained by state borders or government budgets.  Prior to the end of the Cold War, threats came in the form of rival states, such as Germany in WWI and WWII, and the Soviet Union during the Cold War.  It is common knowledge that an enemy or a threat in the form of a state can only remain a threat for so long before the international community isolates that enemy state economically or collectively attacks that state, resulting in choking the life out of the enemy state and collapsing its government infrastructure. 
Something interesting occurred after September 11, 2001, and that was the creation of the non-state threat to capitalist globalization which quite possibly justified the post-Cold War existence of NATO.  Stateless phantom threats, such as the Taliban and ISIS were created, and these threats could be made to exist in any region where western capitalist interests might require military intervention.  Stateless entities would never collapse due to economic strangulation or an aggravated population base, especially if phantom threats were being funded by states with particular political motives, and stateless threats could never be directly bombed because of international laws and the fact that stateless entities do not actually possess government infrastructures, but these phantom threats can exist as a justification for western military action for decades, if needed.  This concept is probably rather pleasing to government contracted private sector corporations that produce military arms and technologies. 
What is even more beneficial for western capitalist interests and the continued existence of NATO is that NATO provides the capitalist west with a way to work around any UN Security Council Veto that may present to prevent collective military action on behalf of western capitalism.    
Gnlnur Aybet and Rebecca Moore, eds. NATO in Search of a Vision. Washington, DC, USA: Georgetown University Press, 2010

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